School of Behavioral Sciences
Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)
mental health, jail, solitary confinement, inmates
Anderson, Courtney Isaac, "The Mental Health of Inmates: An Approach to Jail Reform" (2023). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 4454.
The aim in this phenomenological study was to understand the impact the jail environment, policies, and procedures have on incarcerated individuals. Mental health problems are common among individuals in jail. Furthermore, the jail environment, harsh policies, and isolation from the public are believed to have a negative impact on inmate mental health. Elevated percentages of inmates experiencing psychiatric difficulties during their incarceration have been supported by research. It is suggested that the elevated percentages of psychiatric demands promote the lack of mental health assistance inside jails. A methodical analysis of literature was conducted to identify the circumstances of the jail environment and jail’s effects on inmates’ mental health. This phenomenological analysis emphasized the complications that evolve from the adverse impact of the jail environment on inmates’ mental health. Some research suggests that harsh jail environments provide safe and secure facilities that promote positive inmate behavior. However, there is a need for additional research in this area as many mental illnesses remain obscure within the jail. To abstain from the exacerbation of mental health problems in jail, the administration and staff should have a holistic view of the mental health issues of inmates through research. In addition, the appropriate collaboration of jail administrators and mental health professionals can provide resourceful and innovative steps to improve jail environments and inmate mental health.